Friday, December 12, 2008


So, a while ago I was asked by many MANY people to write up some instructions on how to set up a blog. At one time I believe my record was setting up about 27 new blogs in two weeks! I was happy to do the instructions and it proved to be well worth my time. I learned SO much about all the cool new things that Blogger is adding for our use. It remains ALL FREE, which I love!

When I started my blog my dear friend Courtney showed me the ropes of it all. Back then (about 3 1/2 years ago) it was A LOT harder and a lot simpler. Makes sense huh?! Well, let me explain.

It was simpler because there were about 8 different templates to choose from. Fancy schmancy blog backgrounds were virtually non-existent. There were about 8 choices and it seemed NO choice for font or anything like that.

NOW, it was a lot harder because there were not any easy short cuts. To add or change anything on your blog you had to know the ins and outs of html language, or at least be able to fake it real good. Maybe it wasn't that there weren't many choices, maybe it was that I was, or at least felt totally computer illiterate by the way Blogger was set up.

None of that matters so much now. Sure you can still do some pretty cool things in html, and you have to be able to find your way around in there a little bit in order to change your background, but they have really come so far!

While writing up the instructions I intended to outline the function of each of the "gadgets" available. There used to be only 12. OH MY LANDS! Have you seen how many there are now?! You can get a radio station piped into your blog, for goodness sakes!

And now to my point...I feel that there is so much out there that I have not tapped into. Some of it may not be worth my time, but others maybe super fun. So, throughout the process I am going to share this information with you. Each Friday I will highlight a new "GOODIE" that I have found. Take it our leave it. Whatever. I am sure that some of them will not be worth our time, however, there may be a few that might really be interesting to some of us.

Each Friday I will list a new feature and the next Friday, I will tell you what I think, and list the next feature. Oh you are SO excited!

SO, (and this part is for you Courtney) this marks the creation of FRIDAY'S GOODIES...oh I know you love it! :)

So for today, I just wanted to start simple. A few of you may have noticed, if you have a blog, that in your "dashboard" if you scroll down a little you will find a section where you can list the blogs you follow. I know I have mentioned Google Reader before, WHICH I HAVE LOVED!

Well, this is a lot the same, however, the thing I like about far anyways, is that it is all in Blogger. I keeps a list of your blogs and lists the most recently updated blogs on top of the list. This way you can click on them from here and go right in. You can also go into "gadgets" in your "Add/Arrange Page Elements" page and make a list of blogs and have them listed either alphabetical or according to most recently posted. A lot of you have already done this.

If you are using Google Reader you can click on "add" by the Blogs you Follow and then select the option that says something about transferring from Google Reader. It will transfer those for you! EASY! Oh how I love easy.

Also, on your dashboard next to your blog there is a little counter that keeps track of all of the people following your blog.

The best part about all of these features, whether you use this or Google Reader, or even something else, it saves you a lot of time while allowing to stay up to date with all of your friends or on any of the blogs you are following. I LOVE IT!

The thing I will be interested to see over the next week is if it updates for those blogs that are private. Google Reader does not. I would LOVE it if it does. There are a few more things that I will be looking it at and considering the permanent switch from Reader. We will see!

Alright, I will be on the hunt for next Friday. Any ideas or questions shoot them my way and I can look in to it too!


Brian and Kara said...

Just so you know. No it does not show updated private blogs. Bummer I know!

~Tiffany~ said...

I want to know how you make your background and your header so cute?! I will be checking back, Yipee!!

Norris Fam said...

Great idea..I am not technologically advanced and I like it when other people do the work for me and then walk me through it!

I'm excited for Friday Goodies!

Hardy Party said...

Oh Amy, I'm trying to set up a blog and I can use all the help I can get. Do you have some basic instructions written down somewhere? If so, I would love to have them. I spent hours the other night trying to figure out what I was doing wrong with my pictures.